UN-Habitat is a strategic partner of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in promoting sustainable urban development. Since 1992, UN-Habitat has worked closely with the government, municipal and local authorities, especially Afghan communities, contributing to the physical and social reconstruction of the country. Our work has focused on assisting the government in the development of urban policies and regulations; strategic urban planning; increasing municipal revenue; establishing community-based organizations; addressing the land and housing needs of IDPs and returnees and contributing to the provision of basic urban services.
Informality is not the exception but the rule. 80 % of urban Afghans live in informal areas. The vast majority of the population live in under-serviced, informal housing with little tenure security and very poor access to basic services such as water and sanitation.
The longstanding conflict contributed to weak governance and considerable urban challenges including poverty, inequality, social exclusion, youth unemployment, and gender inequality. Lack of urban planning coupled with rapid Afghanistan’s urbanization process steered by rural-urban migration plus massive flux of returning Afghan refugees from neighboring countries and internally displaced by the conflict and the drought, make Afghan cities underserviced.
However, Afghanistan’s future is urban. The population of Afghan cities is expected to double within the next 15 years and be 50% urban by 2060 and urbanization is a powerful driver for development. So far, more than 50% of the national GDP is originated in Afghan cities.
“UN-Habitat is not only a partner but strategic partner for us in Afghanistan, working together in the physical and social reconstruction of my country, supporting the provision of urban services to our citizens.”
H.E. Abdul Baqi Popal, Deputy Minister of Municipalities
Donors and partners
The success of UN-Habitat is dependent on the strategic and trustful relationships with the government, at the national and local level, and with the communities. With more than twenty years of impactful interventions, UN-Habitat has managed to meet the government and community needs due to the strong partnerships always driven and led by our local partners. Local ownership has always been at the center of our interventions.